Q. Which field test programs do Texaco Lubricants run on new products? How long do they typically last and do they vary from one OEM to another?
We run a series of robust field trials for every new product we develop. The field trial takes place after 18-24 months of lab and in-house testing. A successful field trial is required for any product to achieve crucial OEM approvals, with each field trial run to the individual specification of each OEM. These specifications vary from 4,000 hours up to two years and are typically followed by a comprehensive inspection by the OEM and Texaco personnel.
Q. Who are the ideal target customers for Texaco HDAX products in Europe?
The three key customer segments to which we market the Texaco HDAX range for combined heat and power generation are natural, biogas and landfill gas applications.
Q. What can customers do to keep their equipment at optimum performance levels?
We recommend our customers use our Texaco Lubewatch oil analysis programme, to help ensure optimum performance. Texaco Lubewatch oil analysis enables customers to track the performance of the equipment that is the lifeblood of their business. Through regular oil analysis, equipment life and oil drain intervals can be optimised, lubricant needs can be identified, and the changing environment within the equipment can be monitored. This knowledge helps the precise scheduling of maintenance work that can reduce downtime or even eliminate the risk of catastrophic equipment failure.
Q. Are environmental concerns taken into consideration when designing products for the power generation sector?
Global environmental and emission drivers are important factors in product formulation. Increasing use of natural gas and reducing the use of distilled fuel aids the reduction of NOx, CO and hydrocarbons.
In addition, OEMs look to reduced oil consumption and the possibility to extend oil drain intervals which have an effect on both the environment and operational and maintenance costs of equipment.
Q. What will the new Texaco HDAX products offer in respect of maintenance and drain intervals?
Lubricants are considered one of the ‘construction elements’ of an engine. The key driver for Texaco HDAX products in gas engines is to help OEMs meet or reduce emission levels, protect the engine from excessive wear and collectively extend engine life, to minimise maintenance tasks and reduce total engine overhaul cost.
Texaco HDAX 9300 is designed for high BMEP engines, to provide longer oil drain intervals in-line with engine service intervals, reducing maintenance costs and allowing for longer uptime to assist profitability.
Texaco HDAX 9500 has been formulated to help provide deposit, wear, base retention, oxidation and nitration control in high-output four-cycle natural gas engines operating on landfill or digester gas. As demonstrated in the field, this premium package can extend oil drain intervals while minimising the negative effects of ash deposits on sensitive engine components.
Reduced ash deposits help to maintain the power output of high BMEP engines, in particular those equipped with knock sensors. Texaco HDAX 9500 provides additional protection against the corrosive effects of acids commonly found in landfill and digester gas while extending oil drain intervals through enhanced base retention characteristics.
Q. What factors most typically impact gas engine performance?
Multiple operational parameters impact engine operation, however, emission/environmental levels are paramount and need to be continuously monitored to ensure optimum engine performance. OEMs and environmental legislation set very strict emission targets. When an engine operates outside its optimum emission targets, it will negatively affect the lifetime of the engine oil and the engine itself.
Q. Are there any pieces of upcoming legislation which will affect the combined heat and power generation sector in Europe, or further afield?
Overall, the European MCP (Medium Combustion Plant) directive regulates pollutant emissions from the combustion of fuels in plants with a rated thermal input equal to or greater than 1 Megawatt thermal (MWth) and less than 50 MWth. In Germany the TA-Luft 2017 changed to ‘44.BIMSchV’ as a result of the European directive, this will have an effect on new installations in place since 2018 and existing installations as of 2025.
Q. What beneficial services do Texaco Lubricants provide to customers in addition to their products?
The Texaco subject matter experts (SMEs) can offer real value to customers. Texaco provides natural gas engine oil competency training to OEMs, end users and those who market our products. After training, personnel are able to perform detailed ‘Best in Class’ assessments, which use a range of testing criteria over and above a site survey, to identify potential areas for improvement and respond to any issues with adapted recommendations. The assessments will guide product selection and can deliver a better understanding of product integrity so that products are stored correctly with adequate filtration and condition monitoring in place. Drain intervals, inventory and vendor performance are also fully surveyed, adding to knowledge of programme management via a robust maintenance plan.
This knowledge and support combined with the data available via Texaco Lubewatch is one of the finest condition-based monitoring/used-oil analysis programmes available, enabling customers to extract maximum value from their equipment.
Q. Current industrial engine technology and design features much higher temperatures on pistons than previous engines. How have Texaco HDAX lubricants been formulated to meet those challenges?
The latest high BMEP engines are made with steel pistons as opposed to traditional aluminium. Steel piston technology allows for higher HP, increased compression and higher combustion temperature, thus making the engine more efficient. High BMEP engines require a modern technology lubricant that is able to work within the extreme temperatures and low oil consumption of the engine. These modern Texaco HDAX engine oils are specifically designed for long oil drain intervals to be aligned with the engine’s maintenance service programme.
Q. What do you see as the key challenges for lubricant suppliers over the next 10 years?
Continuous review and strengthening of the emission regulations will result in a further change in the energy production grid in Europe. The combined heat and power segment is now seeing an increase in ‘flex-mode’ operations which have an effect on operating hours and engine load. We continually work on solutions to achieve improved oil life as well as engine efficiencies which will lead to potential fuel savings.
Q. What do you believe are the key challenges in the power generation sector?
The biggest challenge facing power generation is in responding to the needs of modern environmentally sustainable energy production. In the first instance, tighter emission regulations for new installations as well as existing installations need to be adjusted by 2025, which in combination with local government subsidies will result in challenges for power generation applications.
Another challenge is how the industry works to meet the increased need for electrical energy consumption, and the increase in LNG used in flex mode (known as peak shaving in the UK) across Europe. These changes are coupled with the reduction in coal use driven by environmental factors, and the reduction in nuclear use driven by both safety and longer-term environmental concerns. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy are certainly increasing, but these sources also pose challenges over their reliability to be available on demand.
However, technology is in place to help meet these challenges, with new energy storage systems helping to lower emissions, leading to lower operational costs and increased engine availability, and new gas engine technology is providing a cost-effective solution to contribute to greater grid stability.
Texaco HDAX products with OEM approvals are supported by our in-house expertise, robust in-field testing and backed up by detailed value-driven oil analysis Texaco Lubewatch, to ensure they can meet the ever-changing needs of the power generation sector.
Chevron has a strong heritage with over 100 years’ experience in Europe, and we market our lubricants products under the Texaco® brand. With advanced technology, Texaco Lubricants drive performance through a comprehensive range of engine oils for cars, heavy duty diesel engine oils for trucks, antifreeze, coolants, and a wide range of industrial lubricants, under the Havoline®, Delo®, HDAX®, VARTECH®, and Techron® brands, serving drivers and businesses globally. To find out more, visit our website at https://www.texacolubricants.com.
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